Originally created 07/11/01

Official faces new count of misconduct

SAVANNAH - Chatham County Commissioner Martin Jackel's court troubles worsened after prosecutors charged him with sexual misconduct involving a Savannah woman.

Mr. Jackel, a lawyer, touched the woman's breasts, then had her perform sodomy on him May 22, according to a charge filed Friday in Chatham County Superior Court.

Both offenses - sexual battery and solicitation of sodomy - are misdemeanors and carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Any sentence also could be served on probation in place of jail time.

The formal action against the 58-year-old county commissioner, called an accusation, bypasses the Chatham County grand jury. Use of an accusation to bring a case to court is not unusual.

The court action was the second time in a week Mr. Jackel has been the target of a court filing.

Last week, an unidentified Savannah woman sued Mr. Jackel, alleging he repeatedly had her perform sodomy on him when she went to his office seeking representation in a wrongful-death case.

Mr. Jackel has not filed a response to the suit.

In the criminal actions, a different woman - a 41-year-old Savannah resident - went to Mr. Jackel's law offices for advice on a pending drug case against her, the Savannah Morning News reported June 20.

Mr. Jackel's lawyer, attorney Abda Quillian, declined comment on the charges.

Mr. Jackel was unavailable for comment. He previously has declined to comment on the case.

Mr. Jackel, who has practiced law in Savannah since 1977, is a former assistant district attorney and is judge pro tem in Chatham County Juvenile and Recorder's courts.


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